...civilized values - and the impossible ideals of Christianity - inevitably distort our natural aggression and impose a terrible burden of guilt...

Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents

Aggression may be the biggest obstacle to civilization. This was the focus of Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents.

On the surface I might have appeared as an open-minded, rational, calm, 'nice' person, but on the inside, maybe I was unconsciously seething with rage, rage at my parents, rage against the psychiatric profession, eventually rage against my two long-term partners which was an extension of the original rage, and ultimately rage against human society itself. I could not admit this to myself, and so took it upon myself - in the form of depression and a wish to die. The violence directed against myself summed up what I could not believe or accept about life itself, about my family, my relationships, the benevolence and general goodness of human beings.

And perhaps any violence in the form of competitiveness, whether regarding my siblings or other females, was similarly not something I could consciously accept as part of who I was. In a way it does make sense that violence repressed or not directed outwardly might be directed inward, and be recognized only as 'depression'.

Repression or attempted control of drives may lead to an intensification of the drives in question, or that we turn the energy upon ourselves rather than direct it outwardly.

...There comes a point at which each of us abandons, as illusions, the expectations he pinned to his fellow men when he was young and can appreciate how difficult and painful his life is made by their ill will. At the same time it would be unjust to reproach civilization with wanting to exclude contention and competition from human activity. These are certainly indispensable, but opposition is not necessarily enmity: it is merely misused as an occasion for the latter...

Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents















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